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Notes on Revelation


...the name of King Ahab's wife, who seduced him, in the Hebrew language is 'Izebel,' but is read by the Septuagint in (1Ki 16:31), Jezebel, as here; and by Josephus Jezabela; she had her name from "Zebel," "dung," to which Elijah has reference in (2Ki 9:37); the Ethiopic version calls her "Elzabel." By her is meant the apostate church of Rome, comparable to Jezebel, the wife of Ahab; as she was the daughter of an Heathen, so is Rome Papal the daughter of Rome Pagan; and as she was the wife of Ahab, and therefore a queen, so the whore of Babylon calls herself; and as Jezebel was famous for her paintings, so the church of Rome for her pretensions to religion and holiness, and for the gaudiness of her worship; and as she was remarkable for her idolatry, whoredoms, witchcrafts, and cruel persecution of the prophets of the Lord, and for murder, and innocent blood she shed; so the church of Rome, for her idolatrous worship of images, for her whoredoms, both in a literal and spiritual sense, and for the witchcrafts, magic, and devilish arts many of her popes have been addicted to, and especially for her barbarities and cruelties exercised upon the true professors of Christ, and for the blood of the martyrs, with which she has been drunk; and as Jezebel stirred up Ahab against good and faithful men, is has this church stirred up the secular powers, emperors, kings, and princes, against the true followers of Christ: and the end of both of them is much alike; as scarce anything was left of Jezebel, so Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, shall be cast into the sea, and be found no more at all: compare (2Ki 9:7,22,30,31,33,37) with (Re 17:1,2,4-6,17,18; 18:3,7,21,23);

(The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)

"Tyrian princess, daughter of Ethbaal, King of Tyre and Sidon, and wife of Ahab, King of Israel...Jezebel introduced the worship of Baal into Israel, thereby inciting a mutual enmity with the prophets of Jehovah. She is portrayed as the bitterest opponent of the prophet Elijah, and as instigating the murder of Naboth for possession of his vineyard...The name of Jezebel was held in reproach among the Jews because she introduced tyrannical government and the worship of foreign gods. In English it has come to signify a brazen or forward woman..."

(Universal Standard Encyclopedia)

"Jezebel: often not cap: an impudent, shameless, or abandoned woman."

(Webster's Dictionary)

"The crafty, unscrupulous woman came from a long line of monstrous tyrants. Her father was the cruel and vicious Ethbaal, who murdered his way to the throne of the city-state of Sidon by assassinating his brothers. He was the child of his bitter and pitiless religion and, according to Menander, a Greek writer, its high priest. His name, 'Eth-baal' says it all: Taken at face value it means, '(I'm) with Baal.'

"Jezebel's name is also associated with the worship of Baal and was probably taken from a line in a Phoenician poem:

Where is Baal, the Overcomer?
Where is the Prince, the Lord of the earth?

"The question, 'Where is the Prince...?' in Phoenician is 'iy-zebel' and was the name given to Jezebel, the Sidonian princess. She too was a consummate Baal worshipper.

"Baal worship was the most degraded religious sytem ever devised--and Phoenician Baalism was the worst of the lot. It's thought by some scholars that the Phoenician coast was settled by the refugees from Sodom and Gomorrah, who fled the Valley of Sidim when their cities were destroyed and who brought with them their depraved culture.

"The Phoenician version of Baal worshp was deemed evil even by other pagans. When the Romans--hardly paragons of virtue themselves--encountered Baalism at Carthage, a Phoenician colony, they were utterly grossed out by it.

"Literature from this dark culture abounds. A number of years ago, a Syrian peasant accidentally plowed up a flagstone that covered a subterranean passageway leading down into a burial chamber. Subsequent excavations unearthed a large library with inscriptions in various Near Estern languages, including a new Semitic language now known as Ugaritic. The language was deciphered and the texts were translated. Much of the writing is comprised of erotic poems describing the racy escapades of Baal and his consorts. As a result, we've come to learn more than most of us would ever care to know about the theology and morality of that horrible religion.

"The poems are beautifully crafted--yet filled with images and fantasies of a degraded and brutal culture. Without a doubt, Baal worship went hand in hand with appalling violence. Underlying the sophistication of the literature lie tales of murderous rage and frightening cruelty.

"In one text, Anat [one of Baal's lovers], in a bloody, misanthropic spree, massacres a gathering of male guests whom she invited into her house. After the slaughter she 'fastens [their] hands to her girdle'; plunges 'knee-deep through their blood; hip-deep through their gore.' Then 'her liver swells with laughter; her heart swells up with joy.'

"In another poem, in a wild fit of rage she shouts at her father El...

With the might of my [strong] hand
I will smash your head;
I will make your gray hair flow with blood;
The gray hair of your beard with gore."

(A Beacon in the Darkness, David Roper)

See also Elijah.
See also Thyatira
See also '...and the blood came out of the winepress...'


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